Snacks For Kids

Snacks For Kids

Snacks for kids
In today’s fast and busy world, parents are raising a generation of snackers. Nowadays, there are many kids who eat almost constantly through the day and have a habit of eating a lot of cookies, salty snacks, and fruit drinks. However, findings have shown that half of the American children snack about four times a day. Younger children between 2 to 6 years of age have shown the largest increase in snacking, consuming an average of an extra 182 calories a day in snacks in comparison to children in the late 1970s, according to a report published in one of the issues of Health Affairs.

Although there has been an increase of 168 calories in daily snacks, average daily consumption during the study period increased by only 113 calories. This means that snacking has almost reduced the mealtime of the children and that the children, because of their intense snacking habits, are taking fewer calories in breakfast, lunch, and dinner when typically more healthful food is being served. Overall, snacking now accounts for approximately 27 percent of an average child’s overall everyday calories. So it is very important for today’s parents to include healthy snacks in their child’s daily diet.

Do children really need a snack?

  • Children need a good blend of nutrients for proper growth and development.
  • From various proteins and carbs to calcium and iron, growing kids also need snacks with regular meals so that they get these nutrients on a daily basis.
  • The inclusion of snacks in kids’ diet helps them meet their nutrient requirements and helps in regulating their appetite and eating habits.
  • The key to successful snacking lies in what kids consume as snacks and the timing of eating. In other words, you need to have a very good, working snack strategy.

What is the best time for kids to have snacks?

  • As a child enters into the toddler age, their eating and sleeping habits change.
  • If the child is not eating well at mealtime, try to avoid offering anything else until it’s time for his next snack or meal.
  • If your child loves to drink milk, give it after the meal so that they don’t fill up before, as at this stage, it is very important for children to have solid food.

How can you regulate the eating habits of children?

  • Designate a particular area as “eating only zone” at home and limit all snacking to that location; mostly, the dining table or counter-top works well.
  • If your kid snacks all over the house, it becomes difficult for you to monitor what and how much they are eating.
  • Do not let your child have snacks while watching T.V. Various studies show that this senseless munching leads to overeating, which often results in unhealthy weight gain.

How can you be a smart snacker?

  • Expect smaller kids to consume smaller quantities of snacks. Younger children may need snacks more frequently as compared to older ones.
  • Meals and snacks should be offered at predictable times.
  • Do not offer snacks too close to meal time so as to make sure your kids eat properly at meal times.
  • You can cut down on snacking cost with frozen foods as they are just as nutritious as the fresh varieties and are often less expensive.
  • Keep a bowl of fresh, simply ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.
  • Offer a variety of food items to kids as food preferences are developed early in life.
  • When food is used as a prize for kids, they may start using food to handle anxiety and other emotions. Instead of food treats, try to offer them hugs, praise, and attention.

What are the best snacks for kids?

  • A snack containing protein and fiber is best for kids.
  • Such type of snacks are stomach filling and add to the quality of their diet.

What are some good options for snacks for kids?

  • A mixture of nuts and dry fruits without added sugar, whole-grain pretzels, and low-sugar dry cereal
  • Baked tortilla chips dipped in salsa
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Low-fat yogurt, fruits, and nuts
  • Celery sticks can be filled with almond butter and sprinkled with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries
  • Turkey breast wrapped around slices of apple
  • Nuts and raisins

Although snacks are important for kids from the nutrients point of view, it should always be controlled under adult supervision.

You May Also Like